Tag Archives: serrano

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

7 May
Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce

We have a nice stash of jumbo (16-20 count) shrimp in the freezer, and this tasty/tangy shrimp dish caught my eye in my blog readerboard a couple of weeks ago. It is right up my alley using Mexican-inspired ingredients, and is served over something other than a tortilla, ha!

I adapted this from Josette’s Shrimp in Green Mole over at thebrookcook, and the vibrant green sauce did not disappoint. I halved the shrimp amount since there were only two of us eating it, but kept the sauce amount the same since she said she would have enjoyed more sauce. I substituted pepitas, which are pre-roasted baby pumpkin seeds and ground cumin for seeds, so that eliminated a couple of steps. I’m all about easy. I also omitted the romaine lettuce in the sauce, which admittedly was a mistake but the sauce came out delish all the same! Here’s how I did it:

Shrimp in Pepita Tomatillo Sauce
Adapted from Shrimp in Green Mole at thebrookcook

1/2 cup hulled pepitas
1/2 pound tomatillos, husked, rinsed and quartered
1/2 serrano or jalapeño, stemmed
1/4 cup chopped white onion
2 garlic cloves, peeled
1/4 cup tightly pack chopped cilantro
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 1/2 cups homemade or low-sodium chicken stock
1/2 tablespoon olive oil
Kosher salt and ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 pound jumbo tail-on shrimp, shelled and deveined
Pepitas and cilantro, for garnish
Cooked rice, for serving

Place the pepitas, tomatillos, chile pepper, onion, garlic, cilantro, cumin, and 1/2 cup of the chicken stock in a blender or food processor. Blend until smooth, stirring and scraping down sides as necessary.

Heat the oil in a skillet (cast-iron if available) over medium-high heat. Add the tomatillo mixture, which will spatter so be prepared with a screen or lid! Cook, stirring often, for about 8 to 10 minutes. Add the remaining chicken stock, bring to a simmer, and reduce heat to medium low, simmering softly and stirring often until sauce is thick and creamy, about another 10 minutes. Season to taste, with salt if necessary.

Season shrimp with kosher salt and pepper, then add to the simmering sauce. Cook on each side for 3 or 4 minutes until the shrimp are just cooked through. Serve over rice garnished with pepitas and cilantro.

 

 

 

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

16 Oct
Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

After we got back from our trip to the coast for our anniversary, I harvested the last of my chile peppers and the wee tomatillos and poblanos I managed to eke out with our short summer weather. Half the hot peppers had turned red while we were gone, but that’s OK as I like spicy!

Cooking is quite the challenge one-handed, but I’ve figured out some hacks to where I don’t ask for much assistance any more in food prep. Dicing a fresh onion is the hardest I’ve found, but luckily I have a bag of diced onion in the freezer that I brought home from a work potluck, which can be used in soups and stews.

Tips: A mini food processor can be used for a rough dice of carrots, celery, and onion, and a pair of kitchen shears does quick work on green onions. I do have limited use of my left thumb and forefinger, so I place the green onion between those two fingers and snip away!

This soup was the culmination of wanting to use my peppers and tomatillos in something as well as a large leek that needed to be cooked stat. I roasted the poblanos, tomatillos, and a serrano until charred, then had my daughter peel and mince them for me. I then scrounged the freezer and pantry and came up with a half pound of burger, black beans, and golden hominy. Combined with my homemade beef stock, a filling Mexican-style soup was on the horizon!

I’m still limiting my prep photos until I have two hands again but this is a pretty straight-forward soup recipe. Note: I used all my very small poblano peppers and tomatillos in this, but have adjusted the recipe below for standard grocery-sized produce.

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Pepper and Tomatillo Harvest

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

1 large leek, halved lengthwise and sliced
3 peeled, rinsed and roasted tomatillos
1 large roasted and peeled poblano, minced
1 roasted and peeled serrano pepper, minced
1/2 pound ground beef
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
Ground black pepper, to taste
1/2 teaspoon ground cumin
1 teaspoon Ancho chile powder
4 cups homemade or low sodium beef stock or broth
1 can black beans, drained and rinsed
1 can golden hominy, drained and rinsed
2 soft corn tortillas, diced large
Juice squeezed from a large lime wedge
Tortilla chips, sour cream, and cilantro for garnish (optional)

Roast and prep the peppers and tomatillos. In a soup pot or Dutch oven, brown the ground beef and leeks in 1 teaspoon olive oil until burger is browned and leeks have softened. Add the minced garlic in the last minute of cooking them.

Add the rest of the ingredients except the garnishes and stir to combine. Bring to a simmer and cook 15-20 minutes until the tortillas have dissolved and soup thickens, stirring occasionally.

Ladle into bowls and serve with desired garnishes. This soup was even better the next day!

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Mexican Poblano Burger Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

 

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

3 Oct
Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Fall is in the air, at least where I live. And that means SOUP season! This is another recipe I made several months ago during a cool spell. The hardest thing about writing a recipe months after the fact is interpreting the scribbles hastily written down while cooking and photographing. I’m sure at the time I thought I would remember what it all means. So if I’ve missed a step or ingredient, please forgive me! But what I do remember is how much I enjoyed this soup.

Don’t let all those bottled sauces intimidate you, as very little of each is used and they keep for a long time in the refrigerator.  And it’s always nice to have just the sauce you need when you’re in the mood for an Asian dish. I think I’ll make this again very soon, as the cool, fall air is making me hanker for some warm, soothing soup!

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

1 teaspoon sesame oil
1 teaspoon olive oil
2 cloves garlic, minced
1/2 cup grated carrot
1­ inch piece ginger, peeled and minced
4 to 5 cups homemade or low­sodium chicken broth
8 ounces boneless, skinless chicken breast tenders
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, stemmed and thinly sliced
2 heads baby bok choy, sliced crosswise
2 green onions, green part only, chopped
2 teaspoons rice wine vinegar
2 teaspoons oyster sauce
1 tablespoon low-sodium soy sauce
1/4 teaspoon fish sauce
1 teaspoon Sambal Oelek (optional)
Lime wedges, for serving

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup Ingredients

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup Ingredients ~ I started to crop this photo but couldn’t after I spotted our darling Hannah Banana in the background!

Add the oils to a wok or Dutch oven heated over medium high. Add the shredded carrot and sauté for a few minutes, then add the garlic and ginger and stir until fragrant.

Pour in the chicken broth, rice wine vinegar, oyster, soy and fish sauces to the broth. Raise the heat and cook until starting to boil, then add the chicken tenders and sliced chile pepper.

Simmering the Chicken

Simmering the Chicken

Reduce the heat to medium and cook at a low simmer until the chicken is cooked through, about 10 to 15 minutes depending on the thickness. Remove the chicken from broth and set aside until cool enough to handle.

Bok Choy and Green Onions Added

Bok Choy and Green Onions Added

Meanwhile, add the bok choy and green onion to the broth. Optionally, add the Sambal Oelek if you like a little spicy. Simmer until greens are just tender, about 5 minutes.

Shred the chicken tenders with forks, then add back to the pot until warmed through.

Shredded Chicken Added

Shredded Chicken Added

Serve in bowls with a lime wedge for squeezing into the soup, to taste.

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Chicken and Bok Choy Soup

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

14 Mar
Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

I’ve been eying similar tomato sauce and egg dishes lately from the Middle East region, but “Shakshuka” uses quite a few spices that I simply don’t have. (And I have a LOT of spices!) But the ingredients and spices I almost always have on hand are Mexican in origin. Hence, I bring to you a riff on Shakshuka, Tex-Mex style!

My husband and I were disappointed I only cooked four of the six eggs. We both had large lunches, and decided one egg each would suffice. Oh boy, were we wrong! While are daughter munched happily on her second egg, we longed in silence. However, there was plenty of sauce leftover to make a repeat for lunch the next day!

Skillet Huevos Rancheros with Homemade Tortilla Strips

For the Ranchero Sauce:
1 tablespoon olive oil
1 Serrano (or jalapeño) pepper, diced small
1 cup onion, chopped
2 cloves garlic, peeled and minced
1 28-ounce can pureed tomatoes
1/4 teaspoon New Mexico ground chile (or chili powder)
1/8 teaspoon ground cumin
1 15-ounce can black beans, drained and rinsed
Salt and ground black pepper, to taste

For the Rest of It:
1 tablespoon olive oil
4 6-inch corn tortillas
Sea salt, to taste
4 to 6 large eggs
1/2 cup fresh-grated Monterrey Jack cheese
1/2 cup fresh-grated cheddar cheese
Handful fresh cilantro, (chopped) for garnish
Sour cream, for garnish

Simmering the Rancheros Sauce

Simmering the Rancheros Sauce

Preheat oven to 450 degrees. To make the sauce, add a tablespoon of oil to a cast iron or oven-proof skillet over medium heat. Add the spicy pepper, onion, and garlic, and cook for about 7 minutes until onions are softened. Pour in the can of tomatoes, then bring to a simmer. Lower the heat and simmer for 10 minutes. Stir in the black beans, and salt and pepper, to taste.

Prepping the Tortilla Strips

Prepping the Tortilla Strips

While the sauce is simmering, brush both sides of the corn tortillas with oil and sprinkle with a little salt. Cut into thin strips. Place on a baking sheet in a single layer and place in the preheated oven. Bake for about 3 minutes on each side, until lightly browned. Remove and set aside. (I tried making the strips before the sauce, and got so busy that I burnt my first batch. Lucky for me I always have a large bag of corn tortillas in the pantry!)

Eggs Nestled in Tomato Sauce

Eggs Nestled in Tomato Sauce (LOOK! There is plenty of room for two more eggs, silly!)

When the sauce has thickened, remove from the heat. Make indentations in the sauce with the back of a large spoon, and crack each egg into the wells. Return the pan to the heat and cover. Simmer gently for about 15 minutes, until the whites are partially set.

Skillet Eggs Ready for the Broiler

Skillet Eggs Ready for the Broiler

Turn the oven to broil. Sprinkle the grated cheese over the dish, then place the skillet under the broiler. Cook until the cheese is melted and bubbling and the eggs are cooked to your liking. This shouldn’t be more than a few minutes, unless you like hard-cooked eggs. Remove the skillet (carefully!) from the oven. Garnish with the tortilla strips and cilantro, scoop out your eggs and sauce, and serve with sour cream if you want.

Skillet Huevos Rancheros

Skillet Huevos Rancheros

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

25 Apr
Cheater Pho Bo Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

I just LOVE Pho, which is a Vietnamese noodle soup, typically made with with beef (Pho Bo) or chicken (Pho Ga). I order this soup for lunch several times a month from a local Vietnamese restaurant and finally took the plunge to make it myself.

The soup base for Pho soup typically requires hours and hours of cooking beef and chicken bones, among other things. After scouring the internet for a variety of “mock” pho soups, I have come up with this version that only took about an hour, using my homemade beef broth as a base and adding the aromatics to that. The best part about this soup is that all the garnishes you can add (or not) offers a different tasty sensation in each bite.

I got mixed reviews from my family on this one. The raw meat kind of freaked out my daughter (even though I showed her how it “cooked” when I poured the hot broth over it), and her young taste buds didn’t seem to enjoy the aromatic broth base, which is also the entire “essence” of the soup. She only ate half of her bowl, but my husband ate every last drop of his, saying it “was good” but I didn’t get raves. Oh well, their loss. I got to enjoy the leftovers for lunch the next day. I guess this will become one of of the lunches I indulge for myself when the rest of the family is not around.

Oh and as for the star anise and spice cloves… I picked packages of those up in the Mexican aisle of our grocery for only 78 cents apiece. And the steak I used was a frozen one leftover from a buy-one get-one free special last month. Combining that with the variety of Asian sauces I already had on hand, this also made for a very frugal meal, indeed!

Pho Bo Soup Ingredients

Pho Bo Soup Ingredients

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Beef Noodle Soup)

2 or 3 star anise
3 spice cloves
1/2 teaspoon black peppercorns
1 3-inch cinnamon stick
2 garlic gloves, peeled, smashed and sliced
1 3-inch-long piece fresh ginger peeled and cut in half lengthwise
6 cups homemade or quality low-sodium beef broth
2 tablespoons soy sauce
1 tablespoon fresh lime juice
4 ounces dried rice noodles
1/2 pound top loin steak, or any other steak, partially frozen and sliced very thin
2 or 3 green onions, sliced thin
Handful of fresh cilantro, coarsely chopped
Handful of fresh basil, coarsely chopped
1/2 small onion, sliced very thin
1 cup or so bean sprouts, rinsed
1 lime, cut into wedges
Sriracha or Sambal Oelek chile paste (or both!)
Hoisin sauce
Fresh jalapeno, sliced thin
Fresh serrano, sliced thin

Pho Bo Garnishes

Pho Bo Garnishes

First off you should prep all your garnishes and steak and set them out on a large platter or board on the table. Next, add the star anise, cloves, peppercorns, cinnamon stick, and garlic to a dry Dutch oven or soup pot over medium heat. Toast the ingredients, tossing around occasionally, until fragrant, about 2 or 3 minutes. Add the beef broth, soy sauce, and lime juice. Bring up to a boil, then reduce to a low simmer for about 30 or 40 minutes.

Dry-Toasting the Aromatics

Dry-Toasting the Aromatics

Meanwhile pour boiling water over the rice noodles in a glass bowl, cover, and soak the noodles for about 10 or 15 minutes. Drain the noodles and portion them and the steak into individual serving bowls.

When ready to serve, strain the broth then pour the simmering beef broth over the steak and noodles using a cup with a spout (such as a glass Pyrex measuring cup). Let each person add any or all garnishes to their bowl. I put everything in mine! I ate this with chopsticks alternating with a spoon, but you could use a fork and spoon instead.

Cheater Pho Bo Vietnamese Noodle Soup

Cheater Pho Bo (Vietnamese Noodle Soup)

Download and Print this Recipe

Download and Print this Yummy Recipe!

 

 

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Ancho Chiles

1 Jun
Roasted Tomato Salsa with Chicken and Rice

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Chicken and Rice

After taking a short break this week from cooking, I decided to plunge head on last night and marinated, roasted, grilled, and boiled to end up with some amazing chicken tacos on our plates. So many flavors danced in my mouth! Smoky, tangy, spicy, a hint of sweet. It took a bit of choreography to get this all ready at approximately the same time, but any of the components could always be made ahead of time separately and reheated (if needed) for serving.

Tomatoes Chiles and Onions Ready to Roast

Tomatoes Chiles and Onions Ready to Roast

We had our first sunny, pleasant day in about two weeks and knew I wanted to grill some chicken and settled on Grilled Cilantro Lime Chicken. I had also (don’t laugh) taken my Ninja food processor to our RV camp last weekend and made some delicious roasted tomato salsa. I tell you that was a challenge to roast in our dinky RV toaster oven! Last night I decided to kick it up a notch and add some dried Ancho chiles. Wow! It turned an awesome salsa into an amazing awesome salsa. So I figured I would make the salsa and we could assemble some chicken tacos since I also had a ripe avocado. Last, my husband asked if I could also make some Cilantro Lime Rice, and I obliged.

Roasted Tomatoes, Chiles and Onions

Roasted Tomatoes, Chiles and Onions

If there’s only one thing you could make today, try your hand at this roasted salsa. You don’t need to have tacos to enjoy it, just grab a bag of tortilla chips and dig in!

Roasted Tomato Salsa with Ancho Chiles

2 dried Ancho chiles
4 Roma tomatoes
1/2 large jalapeño pepper
1/2 serrano pepper
1-inch thick slice of a large, sweet onion, quartered
2 garlic cloves, peeled
Olive oil
Squeeze of 1 or 2 lime wedges
1 teaspoon ground cumin
1/2 cup cilantro

Place Ancho chiles in a glass bowl, and pour boiling water over them. Let sit for about 20 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the tomatoes, jalapeño and serrano peppers in half (deseed the peppers) and place them face down on a foil-lined baking sheet.  Add the onions and garlic, then drizzle some olive oil over the top of everything. Set your oven rack about four inches from the broiler,  and place the pan in the oven on broil. Roast for 15 to 20 minutes until the tomatoes and peppers are charred. The onions didn’t seem to want to char much but they did soften up.

Add the contents of the pan to a food processor and pulse to break up. My Ninja is so small I didn’t have room to add the Ancho chiles until I did that. If you have a larger food processor you could add them at the same time.  Anyways, take the Ancho chiles out of the water and remove the stem and seeds, and add them and the rest of the ingredients. Puree until the consistency of your choice. Serve warm, or chill until ready to eat.

Grilled Chicken Taco with Rice, Salsa and Avocado

Grilled Chicken Taco with Rice, Salsa and Avocado

p.s. Here is a picture of the Ancho chiles. Ancho chiles are actually dried Pasilla peppers, and can be found under either name, or both.

Ancho Pasilla Peppers

Ancho Pasilla Peppers

Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

23 Jan
Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

Well I preempted a post about my husband’s amazing spicy beans and rice dish for this crazy good soup I made. As you may already know, I’m on a soup kick lately, which I do in spurts. This soup has such amazing textures and flavors that I felt compelled to share it next instead. Somehow I ended up finding a creamy Poblano soup recipe while surfing the net well over a week ago for who knows what, I don’t even remember now. So on my next grocery trip, I bought a Poblano (also known as a Pasilla) pepper for it, then threw in a Serrano pepper into the bag for good measure that day. Then the week dragged on, we ate a variety of meals, then I discovered the peppers hidden under the lettuce in the veggie drawer almost a week later. GASP! I was so worried they were expired. But the foodie spirits were with me and they were still nice and crisp and fresh and ready to use. I had to go back in my browser history to find the dang recipe, as all the keywords I used in my search to find it again didn’t bring it up. Whew, I found it! The recipe came from a defunct restaurant on a website that hasn’t been updated in several years, but I ended up finding several variations of the recipe on other sites. So now I present you my take on this.

What makes this soup so interesting is the method to achieve the creaminess. You grind up corn tortillas in a food processor or blender with some spices and flour, then use that to make a roux. This roux then makes the creamy base for the soup along with chicken broth, with a tad of sour cream thrown in at the end. So you get an incredibly creamy soup but with the corn tortilla taste instead of the blander all-flour taste. One of the recipes called for adding corn “cobettes,” but I added yellow hominy instead. It’s all corn. I made this twice as difficult to make because I cooked the chicken for the soup from scratch, which then made the chicken broth for the soup. As always, feel free to substitute canned or boxed low-sodium chicken broth and some leftover or rotisserie chicken to save yourself the time in the kitchen. But I really enjoy making chicken broth from scratch (even though I have still have about 6 quarts of turkey and chicken broth in the freezer!).

Poblano, Serrano, Onion, Avocado, and Ground Tortilla Mix

Poblano, Serrano, Onion, Avocado, and Ground Tortilla Mix

As a side note, when I was de-seeding and chopping up the Serrano pepper (with latex gloves, yes!), my eyes started watering and I literally started choking. Yowza! That was one hot pepper, I could tell! So I only used 1/4 of the pepper instead of the whole one I was planning on. Good call, me-thinks. You can omit the Serrano altogether, too, if your family doesn’t like too spicy. In the end, my daughter inhaled the soup (but no it wasn’t a seconds or thirds soup for her) and my hubby said he really liked the flavors, but got confused by the textures. He asked if there were dumplings in it. (That was the hominy.) Sigh. But MY rating is  four-star plus!

Creamy Poblano Tortilla Soup with Chicken and Hominy

3 white or yellow corn tortillas (6-inch)
2 tablespoons flour
1/2 teaspoon Ancho (aka Dried Pasilla) chili powder or regular
1 teaspoon ground cumin
Lots of ground pepper to taste
2 tablespoons vegetable oil
1/2 medium onion, chopped
1 Poblano (or Pasilla) pepper, chopped
1/4 to 1 Serrano pepper, finely diced (or omit)
1 teaspoon minced garlic
3 tablespoons butter or substitute
4 cups homemade chicken or turkey broth, or low sodium subbed
1 cup yellow or white canned hominy, rinsed and drained (freeze the rest)
1/4 cup sour cream
1 1/2  to 2 cups cooked chicken, cut bite-sized
Shredded Monterrey Jack cheese
Fresh diced avocado

Start out by slicing up the tortillas into manageable chunks for your food processor or blender. Add those to your device then add in the chili powder, cumin and ground pepper. I only have a blender, so it was a bit trickier. I used the “pulse” mode, and pulsed all that a few times, then had to scrape it down, then kept pulsing and repeating the scraping until it was the texture of a coarse cornmeal, as shown in photo below.

Spicy Ground Tortillas and Flour Mixture

Spicy Ground Tortillas and Flour Mixture

In a deep-dish cast iron skillet (or sturdy dutch oven or soup pot) heat the oil over medium-high heat and add the chopped onion, Poblano, and Serrano peppers. Cook for just a few minutes then turn down to medium heat, add the minced garlic, and stir for a total of about another 8 minutes, until the onion is translucent. Now add the  butter, let it melt, then add that cormeal-ish flour mixture to the pan and stir and mix and smoosh down like crazy for the next 5 minutes or so, to form the “roux.” The main thing is to keep stirring constantly and mixing around so nothing burns in there.

Making Corn Tortilla Roux

Making Corn Tortilla Roux

At this point, verra slowly, and I mean slowly, start drizzling in the chicken broth while you whisk and stir. Just keep adding it slowly until about half of it has been added and totally mixed in smoothly. Once that is done, you can now add the rest of the broth then crank up the heat to bring to a boil. Once it’s boiling, turn down to a simmer then add the hominy and cook for about 10 more minutes, stirring occasionally.  Last, mix in the sour cream, bring up to a simmer again, then cook for another 10 minutes but don’t let it come to a boil again. Well, that’s it! Ladle into bowls and serve with chopped avocado and shredded cheese. Yowza that was good! I can say Yowza twice in my post, right? OK make that three times. I hope you enjoy this!

p.s. This is my first post using my new camera skills! No flash, no ucky yellow tone from overhead lightbulb. I’m enjoying my camera again!

Inside-Out Wonton Soup

16 Jan
Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready to Eat

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready to Eat

I’m on an Asian food kick now. I read on another blog it’s one of the “new and upcoming comfort foods of 2013.” HOWEVER, that is not why I’m suddenly making these dishes, it’s because I finally invested in some of the essential ingredients to make that kind of food I’ve always enjoyed at restaurants, and durn it, I am not going to let them waste away in the fridge, pantry, and freezer. If you have the ingredients on hand, then a whole new world of taste opens up. I am absolutely astounded how well this soup turned out. It was so steenkin’ delicious that I was doing that little happy dance in my head. And oh I guess I better share the family rating. Hubby went back for seconds (his portions were large ) and daughter went back for thirds!  That’s the second time that happened in one week! Woot!

I saw this recipe originally on a FaceBook page I belong to that came from The Cooking Channel website. It was entitled “Deconstructed Wonton Soup.” That piqued my interest, and after I read it I knew it was something I was definitely interested in making. I had made some wontons around Thanksgiving and talk about a pain in the butt to assemble. I was not so interested in assembling a ton of those again. So I googled those words and came across another blog that had a different recipe for it, made almost a year earlier. I liked parts of each recipe, so combined them into my own making. Well, that’s pretty much what I always do with new recipes, unless I am forced to bake something that needs exact measurements. Did I ever mention I don’t like to bake cakes and such? Oh, only about a hundred times? OK, I’ll shut up about that.

This recipe handily fed the three of us, with leftovers of about two servings even after we all pigged out. The soup the next day was good, but the flavors were not as intense, so it’s not something I would recommend doubling for the freezer. The broth was also cloudy the next day, and the wonton wrappers slightly mushy. This is a make it and eat it soup! Bright, fun, and packed full of flavor. I added a chopped serrano pepper, and I could not feel any heat from the soup, and next time I would add a jalapeño instead. But if your family can’t handle the heat factor, the serrano should be fine. The pepper cooks in to a mellow flavor. Oh, and the best part? It took about 45 minutes from start to finish. I’m thinking it will only be about a half hour next time since I won’t be trying to figure it all out. And I’m calling it Inside-Out Wonton Soup because the term “Deconstructed” sounds so… well.. technical and exact. I don’t do that. I wing it. OK I said I would shut about that.  😉

Inside-Out Wonton Soup
Adapted from The Cooking Channel and Farmer Jo

4 teaspoons sesame oil, divided
1/2 pound ground turkey
1 tablespoon finely chopped fresh ginger (peel first)
1 serrano or jalapeño pepper, de-seeded and finely chopped
1 tablespoon minced garlic
3 to 4 green onions, chopped, white and green parts divided
1/2 pound salad shrimp (you know, those teeny things)
1 5-ounce can water chestnuts, finely chopped
3 cups pre-shredded bagged coleslaw mix (purple and green cabbage and carrots)
6 cups low-sodium or homemade chicken or turkey broth
1 tablespoon rice wine vinegar
2 tablespoons low sodium soy sauce, plus more for serving
1 cup frozen shelled edamame
12 wonton wrappers, each cut into 4-inch strips (freeze the rest)
1/2 cup chopped cilantro

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready for Garnish

Inside-Out Wonton Soup Ready for Garnish

Chop and slice all the ingredients you need to first and set aside. Heat 2 teaspoons of sesame oil over medium heat in a soup pot or dutch oven, add the ground turkey and cook, breaking up and stirring around until no longer pink. Add the ginger, pepper, garlic, white and light green onion parts, shrimp, and water chestnuts. Cook until softened (the water chestnuts won’t soften), about 3 to 5 minutes.  Add the other two teaspoons of sesame oil, then add the cole slaw mix and stir around until the cabbage starts to wilt, just a few minutes more.

Pour in the broth, rice wine vinegar and soy sauce. Bring up to a simmer, and cook for 15 minutes. Add the edamame and wonton strips (add the wonton strips one or two at a time to avoid clumping), bring up to a simmer again, then cook for about another 10 minutes.  Serve in large bowls with the rest of the green onions, cilantro, and soy sauce on the side for people to add to their taste. Brilliant!

Roasted Tomatillo, Poblano, and Serrano Sauce (Over Chicken Enchiladas)

1 Jan
Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo, Poblano, and Serrano Sauce

Chicken Enchiladas with Roasted Tomatillo, Poblano, and Serrano Sauce

Happy New Year! This was one of those OMIGOSH recipes I came across when I decided to make my chicken enchiladas for my cousin that was in town visiting the other day. I happened to have a poblano pepper in the fridge, and wasn’t sure how spicy my cuz could take his food, so scaled down the serrano peppers and added a poblano. Boy howdy, was this tomatillo sauce so good over the enchiladas. The original recipe/method for the sauce came from Rick Bayless. I’ve made my own tomatillo sauce for years ever since my seester in Austin introduced me to cooking those green little gems, but I always boiled them in water or chicken broth. Roasting the peppers bring out an entire new flavor sensation, and then the additional step to “fry” the sauce in a cast iron skillet just put this over the top.

My camera’s battery went dead just as I was about to take a photo of the simmering sauce, dang it! It was so beautiful just bub-bub-bubbling away in the cast iron skillet. But my cousin was expected within the hour and had to get everything assembled and cooked, so you get a before and after shot of the tomatillo sauce. I made my usual chicken enchiladas for this, recipe here. I made and assembled the enchiladas before making the sauce, otherwise I’d be running around the kitchen like mad trying to do everything at once. You can also just make this sauce and chow down on it with tortilla chips as an appetizer. If you don’t have any New Year’s Resolutions for 2013, then add “Make that crazy-good roasted tomatillo sauce” to your list. Trust me.

Tomatillos, Serrano, and Poblano Ready to Roast

Tomatillos, Serrano, and Poblano Ready to Roast

Roasted Tomatillo, Serrano, and Poblano Sauce
(adapted from Rick Bayless’s Mexican Kitchen)

1 pound tomatillos (about 10 to 12)
1 serrano chile
1 poblano chile
1 tablespoon vegetable or canola oil
1 onion, chopped
2 teaspoons minced garlic
Juice of 1 lime
1 1/2 cups chicken broth, homemade from the chicken for the enchilada
1 cup fresh cilantro, finely chopped

Chicken Enchiladas Assembled

Chicken Enchiladas Assembled

Peel the husks from the tomatillos and scrub the sticky stuff off with a potato scrubber under running water.  On a large baking sheet, add the tomatillos and peppers and broil in the oven for about 20 minutes until the skins are blistered and the tomatillos have turned soft. Flip them over about halfway through. Remove from oven, and place the poblano in a paper bag and let sit for about 10-15 minutes. Meanwhile, cut the stem off the serrano pepper, slit it open and remove the seeds. Using tongs, add the tomatillos and serrano to a large blender or food processor. Cut and squeeze the juice from the lime into the blender. Now remove the poblano from the bag, chop off the stem, de-seed, and peel the skin off of it. Add it to the blender and pulse a few times until everything is chunky. Next, heat a large cast iron skillet to medium-high heat, add the tablespoon of oil, and cook the chopped onions until soft, about 10 minutes. Add the garlic to the skillet in the last few minutes of cooking. Now add the cooked onion and garlic to the tomatillo/pepper mixture, and blend until almost smooth. Add a little bit more oil back to the heated skillet turned down to medium heat, then pour the tomatillo sauce into the skillet. “Fry” the sauce for about 10 minutes, stirring often until it starts to thicken and darken. Next, slowly add the chicken broth, stirring occasionally, and cook for at least 10 or 15 more minutes until the sauce has thickened again and starts to bubble up like the hot mud springs at Yellowstone. Really!  Last, add the chopped cilantro and stir to combine. Now your wonderfully yummy roasted sauce awaits your enchiladas or chips. Or heck, just eat some right out of the skillet with a spoon. I did.

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